By CAITLIN MURRAY
Omar Salgado’s search for playing time will take him to Charleston.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Friday that they’ve sent the former No. 1 overall pick on-loan to the Charleston Battery of USL Pro. Salgado’s loan move is subject to the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Omar is a young player with a lot of potential and this loan is a natural step following two seasons with limited playing time,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. “Our partnership with the Battery provides the opportunity for Omar to earn first team minutes, with a number of his peers, during this stretch of our MLS season.”
The 20-year-old Salgado has missed nearly all of the past two seasons due to recurring foot injuries, making just seven appearances since the start of the 2012 season. Salgado will be the sixth Whitecaps player on loan in Charleston.
The Battery open their season on Saturday against Orlando City SC.
Here’s a look at some other stories from around Major League Soccer:
SOUNDERS MOVE INTO NEXT PHASE WITH BREAK FROM SEAHAWKS
Seattle Sounders FC are breaking away from the Seattle Seahawks.
The two teams had worked together since the Sounders’ debut in 2007, but will officially end shared operations on April 30, in a move the club is calling “Sounders 2.0.”
“This is a sensible business decision for our franchise,” Sounders FC Majority Owner Joe Roth said in a statement Thursday. “Our vision is to grow our business to unprecedented levels both domestically and abroad. This move will position us to achieve that goal.”
With the help of the Seahawks, the Sounders had hit the ground running with strong branding and big attendance numbers with an average of more than 44,000 fans per match last year.
The Sounders will still play at CenturyLink Field and train at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., but business staff will be moved to a new downtown location.
PICKENS WAIVED AFTER FIVE SEASONS WITH RAPIDS
After five seasons with the Rapids, goalkeeper Matt Pickens is leaving Colorado.
The Rapids waived Pickens Thursday, leaving the 32-year-old free to sign with other clubs.
“We want to thank Matt for all his contributions to our club in his five seasons here,” Rapid Vice President Paul Bravo said in a statement. “He has handled this difficult situation with professionalism and we wish him all the best moving forward in his career, as he will always hold a special place in Rapids history. This move allows us additional flexibility on our roster, and gives Matt a chance to find a new club soon.”
Pickens played 116 matches in MLS and set club goalkeeping records in appearances, starts, shutouts and wins along the way. But after injury early last year, he lost his starting spot to Clint Irwin, who had a breakout 2013.
CREW STILL IN THE HUNT FOR STADIUM SPONSOR
The Columbus Crew’s new ownership group is still in negotiations to find a stadium sponsor.
“We still have a top priority in securing a naming partner for our stadium,” Crew President Mark McCullers said Thursday. “The ongoing discussions, the engagement of the community, are all very encouraging.”
The Crew’s venue has simply been named Crew Stadium since being built in 1999 and becoming the first major-league soccer-specific stadium in the U.S.
McCullers said Crew have an “active list” of about six companies they are in negotiations with for naming rights of the venue as they look at ways to attract sponsors.
“We continue to come up with fresh ideas that add value and are going to be of interest to potential stadium partners,” McCullers told SBI. “We just had another graphics plan revision approved on the 18th by the Columbus graphics commission and it gives us certain opportunities to do video on the north side of the stadium, which is extremely valuable to our partners. So there’s a lot of different things, working with the community and working with the mayor’s office for naming rights.
IMPACT PREPARE FOR SNOW BUT SAY MATCH LIKELY TO GO ON
The Montreal Impact could see a few inches of snow this weekend when the Seattle Sounders visit, but the club has told reporters they are ready for it.
Impact vice president Richard Legendre said this week he expects Saturday’s game to be played as scheduled, though some concerns linger about snow accumulation on the roof of 37-year-old Olympic Stadium.
Under new weather protocols, matches will proceed if snowfall doesn’t exceed one inch and a decision will be made 24 hours beforehand. In previous seasons, any amount of snowfall would result in automatic postponement.
Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales has been upgraded to probable for hosting the Galaxy after missing last weekend’s action due to a back injury. (REPORT)
Columbus Crew’s Michael Parkhurst has been training with the squad but is listed as questionable ahead of hosting the Union due to a calf strain. (REPORT)
The Portland Timbers have agreed a new deal with the City of Portland for the city to cover the costs of replacing the turf field every three years. (REPORT)
The New England Revolution have sent defender Jossimar Sanchez on loan to the Rochester Rhinos. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? Do you see Salgado succeeding and finding his form in USL Pro? Think it’s good idea for the Sounders to end their business relationship with the Seahawks?
Share your thoughts below.